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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First toe in the water
This is my first Rankin novel, at first I thought that the hype was rather undeserved but as the book progressed I could see that Rebus did have some personal characteristics that were sympathetic, uncaring, cynical and just about any other trait that a mixed up kind of guy like him would have. His work ethic was manic and unsurprisingly one of the reasons he finds...
Published on 23 July 2001 by John Murphy

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as many other Rebus books
I've read quite a few of the Rebus books over the years and am now trying to fill in all the gaps so have found myself reading some of the early books which I hadn't previously read. This is the fifth book in the series and seems to fall into a bit of a gap. It was written before the Rebus books became really famous but well after the character had been introduced...
Published on 27 Nov 2007 by Janie U


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First toe in the water, 23 July 2001
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This is my first Rankin novel, at first I thought that the hype was rather undeserved but as the book progressed I could see that Rebus did have some personal characteristics that were sympathetic, uncaring, cynical and just about any other trait that a mixed up kind of guy like him would have. His work ethic was manic and unsurprisingly one of the reasons he finds himself sleeping on the couch of his own apartment after being turfed out of his long suffering girlfriends place. Rebus is believable to the extent that he is not adverse to setting up a child molester for a beating, the vigilante ethic alive and well in the moral whirlpool of the police force. The story contained sufficient twists and turns to keep it interesting and the reader tends to sympathise with Rebus in his fight against the establishment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5th book in the series and still going strong., 17 Aug 2009
By 
Gemma "Chocolatebox" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Black Book (Paperback)
In The Black Book a close friend and colleague of Rebus has been brutally attacked which is when Rebus discovers his colleague's notebook, which then see's him trying to piece together the puzzle and solves a long forgotten case starting from a hotel fire and an unidentified body.

At first Rebus feels he will never get to the bottom of it, however when his brother is then also attacked, he becomes more determined than ever to get to the bottom of it before everyone around him gets hurt. He ends up in all corners of Edinburgh city, meeting well known criminals and getting involved in things which could very well threaten his life.

Yet again I am not disappointed by another book in this series. I am always drawn inmto the story quickly with Rankin's books and enjoy reading about Edinburgh, a place I love visiting myself quite often. I always connect well with Inspector Rebus and his colleagues from the police department which we grow to know and love through the course of the series. I like how these character's always return in each book, and you really feel as if you are getting to know them with each new book in the series.

This book see's Rebus being reunited with his brother, Michael, and we read as they re-build their relationship from what it once was. Meanwhile we also see Rebus struggle with his love life, which he has to put to one side whilst trying to solve this case.

The case itself which inolves the usual murder and mystery has me hooked. These books always manage to be above the 'usual and average' crime thriller and each book is obviously carefully planned out by Rankin. I can never guess what's going to happen in these books and it always comes together in the end, with unexpected results. Indeed when I've finished a book, I'm always keen to start reading the next book in the series!

There is always something happening in the book to keep you interested, and never a dull moment. It is mostly written from Rebus' point of view however there is the occasional moment where we pop into the mind of someone else, and Rankin manages to pull this off wonderfully.

You don't necessarily need to read these books in order, but I highly recommend doing so as you can follow the characters from the start, and grow to know and love Inspector Rebus as so many people have done.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic Rebus, 27 Dec 2012
By 
Brian R. Martin (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Black Book (Paperback)
This is another classic Rebus thriller from an acknowledged master. The usual crowd of friends and enemies, including his nemesis `Big Ger' Cafferty, are all here in a story that is full of twists and turns, and steadily becomes more complex as it evolves. Initially, Rebus thinks he is investigating a murder in a butcher's shop, while being part of a joint operation with Trading Standard's officers to trap some junior associates of Cafferty in an illegal money-lending/protection racket. But things change completely when a colleague is badly beaten at the back of the Heartbreak Café. After Rebus finds his friend's notebook he, with his colleague DC Siobhan Clarke, is drawn into investigating a death of an unknown man that took place five years earlier during a fire that gutted the Central Hotel. The trail leads them to a complex series of crimes, including murder, extortion, and bribery, to name just a few.

As in other Rebus novels, there is a superb portrait of Edinburgh and its surroundings, and marvelous descriptions of the many characters that live there and are connected to the investigation, ranging from the habitués of seedy pubs and sad figures living on the fringes of crime, to powerful men who can influence events behind the scenes. Rebus of course does eventually solve several crimes, but most important for him is that he scores off Cafferty. However, he only does this by bending the rules and is not above `sacrificing' a minor fish to catch the bigger prey. Apart from the crime, there are running stories involving Rebus' personal relationships, for example: with his brother, who has returned to Edinburgh after doing time for drug offences, partly on the evidence from Rebus himself; and the on-off relationship of Rebus with his doctor girlfriend. These help make Rebus a real person with mixed human emotions and not just an obsessive investigating machine.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best Rebus I've read!, 27 Jun 2000
By A Customer
I became hooked on the Rebus novels after being lent "Black And Blue" last Summer. As an Edinburgh girl abroad, it was great to read a fantastic crime novel based in my hometown. I then started to read the whole series from the beginning and can really say that "The Black Book" is definitely my favourite. Great story, fantastic humour, a real cliff-hanger. Ian Rankin has got to be the best British crime-writer of the moment. Don't know what I'll do when I've finished all the books. Start at the beginning again!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody brilliant, 29 Aug 2010
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This review is from: The Black Book (Paperback)
This was the first Ian Rankin book I read, and at the time I was just starting to get back into reading novels, and I have to say I was instantly hooked, the characters in this book are 100% believable, I particularly liked rebus for being a cynical and rather dark character. The plot is also fantastically written and from then on I had to continue with rebus and rankin
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best in the series, 21 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Black Book (Paperback)
I just finished this book last week and i wasnt let down by it. For me this is where the rebus series really picks up. Dont get me wrong the books before were good but for me it gets really good at black book. Rankin is really good at getting you hooked from the first page and pulling you through the book in no time atol. Another great book by Rankin. Must buy
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as many other Rebus books, 27 Nov 2007
By 
Janie U (Kings Cliffe, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Black Book (Paperback)
I've read quite a few of the Rebus books over the years and am now trying to fill in all the gaps so have found myself reading some of the early books which I hadn't previously read. This is the fifth book in the series and seems to fall into a bit of a gap. It was written before the Rebus books became really famous but well after the character had been introduced.
The story is good but I found my attention lagging in the middle of the book. I know that Rebus always works better when he is suspended but it seems that he is suspended more than any other fictional policeman. Interesting that Siobhan's character was developed in more detail - lots more of her to come later.
OK book but have come to expect more than this from Ian Rankin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read as always, 10 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Black Book (Kindle Edition)
I love the Rebus books, and having read some of them randomly i decided to make sure i read them in order. i love the John Rebus character and his relationship with Siobhan. the speed of the books and the twisting stories are just a joy to read and this one lived up to expectations. Long may he continue
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Black Book, 17 Dec 2012
By 
Mr. Raymond Walker (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Black Book (Kindle Edition)
I have been an avid fan of Ian Rankin. This book was not among my favourites. There were too many disparate parts, which never seemed to come together. Too bitty by far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 12 Mar 2014
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The delivery service was very prompt. The product was exactly as I had requested and the story line keeps you guessing right up to the end.
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